How to Install Laminate Flooring

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Introduction: How to Install Laminate Flooring

Do you have some ugly carpeting or dated linoleum flooring? Now's the time to update and the effort will really pay off. You will likely need an entire weekend to do this........................the project goes a lot faster if you have some help............. The tools and supplies you will need for this are of course the flooring (try to but the middle price range flooring as it is easier to install), a box-cutter knife, hammer and block of wood, a drill with screw bits (of course some screws 2" work well) , some underlay material, and the most important item I swear I would never do another floor without is a laminate cutter, we rented ours for $30 from Windsor Plywood and it saved a bunch of time and did not create dust. Also a jigsaw is helpful if you have curved cuts to be made and some wood glue. Total cost was approximately $500...

Step 1: First Step..............remove the Carpeting

I do not have a picture of the carpet being removed, but I have a few shots of the pink carpeting that was there before...............Not a pretty sight. I found it easier to cut the carpet into pieces and roll them up before disposal, the garbage-men had no trouble taking care of that for me. Another thing I might remind you of is to screw the floor in where there were some squeaks, I had the neighbour-kid walk around with a felt marker and put happy faces on the squeaky spots. Just be sure to hit the joists unlike my first attempt...Also don't forget to take off the baseboards and label them and put aside for later.

Step 2: Lay Out the Foam Underlay

Cut and lay out foam underlay, usually found where the laminate flooring is purchased. Thisstuff is cheap like 10 cents a foot and really helps to smooth out the floor. An exacto-knife works well for this...

Step 3: Starting at One End of the Room Begin Laying the Laminate

We glued the first row (to each other at the long edges) and placed the full boxes of laminate on them to keep them secure. Subsequent rows were staggered so that the result looked nice. To ensure a snug (but not too snug) allow a bit of room for expansion, we used a hammer and a block of wood to firm up the rows so that they were a tight fit. Again if you bought the cheap flooring you will have a bugger of a time as you have to assemble an entire row and then angle the entire row into the previous entire row. Spend a few bucks more and you can install this flooring piece by piece. I've done it both ways trust me the latter is a lot easier.

Step 4: Laminate Cutter

As a told you earlier this tool is worth the rental cost. Not only can it speed up the cutting of the laminate, but it is very exact you can nip off a quarter of an inch easily to get the perfect fit. The other benefit is that the cutter does not kick up dust like a conventional saw would. Unless you have curved edges (like I did around the fireplace) this tool will do it all, otherwise you will need a jigsaw to cut curves.

Step 5: Important Note-Stagger the Cuts

Unless you want the planks to start and stop at the same place on each row (which is not as aesthetically pleasing) you should stagger the cuts so that each alternate row has a seam at roughly the same place.

Step 6: Once Finished Nail in the Baseboards and Enjoy Your Handiwork

Here my two helpers are taking a well-deserved break...

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We can follow below mention tips when installing the laminated flooring

• The beginning wall of the flooring should be more visible than your ending wall.

• Remove any previous carpeting or wood flooring glued to a concrete floor. (Wood flooring NOT glued to a concrete floor can remain.)

• A good visual effect can be achieved by mixing planks from 4 to 5 different boxes. The width of the joint between the tiles on each strip may vary. Using these strips and placing thin joints next to thick joints gives a more natural look.

• After measuring the area of the floor to be covered with the Laminate Flooring, add 10% to allow as wastage.

• If your room is smaller, a gap 0.50 of inch can work.

• For installing laminated flooring around pipes first drill a hole in the plank that is some inch larger than the pipe diameter. Cut the plank across the center of the circle, fit around the pipe on the floor, glue plank pieces back together and clamp. Cover expansion gaps with molding or pipe rings when the floor is complete.

• To replace any damage planks, first raise the last installed board 1-2 inches until it disengages. Continue this process until you reach the damaged plank, replace and reinstall the planks.

Great article, we just put up a similar video instruction set on Installing laminate floors so easy! and certainly a better alternative to pink carpets lol. your place looks great now

Glad to come across this how-to, considering changing from cork flooring in my bedroom to laminate flooring. How long did this project actually take? Can this been done right over the cork flooring or would it need to be removed?

We got the majority of the work completed in one weekend (aside from the baseboards and transition pieces).
If you are working where one measure the other cuts it sure speeds the process up, also if you rent the laminate cutter this saves lots of time (and dust).
I don't know if you could laminate over cork flooring however we did put thicker sticky tiles (purchased at Home Depot) down over a lino floor and grouted it and the results were quite nice. Three years later we have no problems with loose tiles of flaky grout so I am quite happy with this. Also we used the laminate cutter to trim tiles where we got off centre, the flaws are virtually invisible.

I just wanted to qualify about how hard it was to cut with this shear. I noticed that the handle in your picture was not extended and maybe this was for photo purposes but we rented one of these from The H.D. and were using it to cut 3/4" oak flooring for the kitchen and then a 12mm engineered for the "family room". It was super easy with the 12mm but did take a bit more on the 3/4". However I'm a big guy (6'2" 210) and my wife (5'10" 125... somethin... ... ish... don't tell her I posted this lol) has to throw her weight into it a bit but can still make the 3/4. The best thing about the shear is how much time it saved us not having to walk from the room we were working in to the garage (or outside) and back and fourth and back and fourth. I'd say it probably saved us 30% of our time and we didn't have ANY dust!... It's COMPLETELY worth the $35 a day they charge!!!

I agree it was a timesaver but I don't recall the cutting being particularly difficult to use. What I really liked about it was that if a piece was slightly too big you can snip as little as an 1/8" at a time until you get the right fit. The other thing was it cannot cut curves so you have to use the jigsaw for those cuts.
P.S.The handle was fully extendible!?
Now I look at the pictures I can see what you mean.
Wait until I tell my husband, I'm sure neither of us knew that!

Cool! My dad and his friends did this to our house (3 bedrooms), and it came out great. Nice Instructable, I like your dog! :-)

Hayden says Hi!

I messed up the images, sorry! I dont see a way to edit my post so i will post the images correctly on this one. First image bad job, second image correct job.

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